Nonsurgical Approaches to the Management of Thyroid Nodules

Sebastiano Filetti; Cosimo Durante; Massimo Torlontano


Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab. 2006;2(7):384-394. 

In This Article

Iodine Supplementation

Few clinicians use iodine supplementation to shrink thyroid nodules or prevent further growth;[7,8,9,10] however, in Europe, moderate iodine deficiencies contribute to the high prevalence of nodular goiter in several geographical areas. Prophylactic programs designed to correct these deficiencies can reduce the prevalence of these nodules, and it is therefore assumed that individual iodine supplementation can also be used to decrease the volume of existing thyroid nodules.

There is little evidence that iodine supplementation is effective for this purpose. In an open, randomized, prospective study of patients with endemic goiters, it has been found that supplemental iodine and levothyroxine therapy were equally effective in reducing goiter dimensions.[27] Similar results showing no real differences in efficacy between levothyroxine, iodine supplementation, and a combination of both treatments have also been reported.[28]

Iodine supplementation may be recommended for volume control of endemic goiters, but should be avoided in elderly patients, especially those with long-standing or autonomous nodular goiters, since rare cases of iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis have been reported in such individuals.[29,30]


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